Current students from Quesnel Junior School help break the ground at the construction site of the new Junior School. The project has been in development since 2005, and it is expected to be completed in 2022. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Current students from Quesnel Junior School help break the ground at the construction site of the new Junior School. The project has been in development since 2005, and it is expected to be completed in 2022. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Quesnel School District “COVID-free”

Superintendent Sue-Ellen Miller is happy with how two September exposure events were handled

The Quesnel School District is happy with how everyone handled two recent COVID-19 exposures in the district.

Quesnel Junior School had two “exposure events” in September, according to Northern Health, but now, the district’s schools are confirmed to be COVID-19-free.

“When COVID-19 is in the community, you’re always fearful that there’s a way it will move into the school,” superintendent Sue-Ellen Miller said at the Oct. 21 school board meeting. “I think we’ve been very happy that our health and safety plans will address when those cases do come up in the community. Right now, we’re feeling very confident.”

Miller praised the work Northern Health did to contact trace and track any potential exposures.

READ MORE: Second positive COVID-19 test reported at Quesnel Junior School

“I don’t want to think it couldn’t happen again because there will be COVID-19 in our community, and it won’t be zero-risk, but we will do everything we can to keep our students and staff healthy and safe,” she said.

The board also continued to celebrate the start of the construction of a new Quesnel Junior School. The district has been advocating for a new school since 2005.

READ MORE: Construction begins on new Quesnel Junior School

“I know I’m looking forward to it, and I’m a long ways from being in school,” board chair Dave Chapman quipped.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place Tuesday, Oct. 20, and construction on the new school should be completed in two years.

“The quality of the building is really special,” trustee Cyril Tobin said. “The opportunities that the physical space will offer those kids, I think the design and implementation are going to be special, which is something we don’t have a lot of in Quesnel.”

Jeanette Beauvillier, the CUPE president, attended the meeting virtually, and she praised the board’s work to work in concert with teachers in the district.

“I’ve been in several meetings since COVID-19 started with other presidents of other districts, and it’s a struggle,” she said. “Although we don’t always agree with everything, this district has worked really hard with the union, and listening to all the other presidents, I think we’re on top.”

The next board meeting will take place Wednesday, Nov. 18 and will start at 5:30 p.m. to fit in chairperson elections.

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